Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton Townhill Park: Homes revamp scheme 'causing pupil intake drop'

Townhill Infant School governors
Image caption Townhill Infant School governors Jo Proctor, Claire Hoper and Steve Gibbs

The revamp of a council housing estate has caused a drop in pupil numbers at a local school, staff have claimed.

Southampton's Townhill Infant School said families were moving out of flats earmarked for demolition in the Townhill Park area of the city faster than new homes were being built.

As a result it said its intake had dropped from 90 to 55 pupils this year.

The city council said it had worked closely with schools over the plans.

Blocks of flats in the area are being demolished for 665 new homes and new public green space.

The project saw its first 56 homes completed in July this year, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Governors at Townhill Infant School said they were not told what impact the revamp would have on the school.

Steve Gibbs, one of the governors, said: "Our main worry is that they knock all the houses down and they won't build them for another ten years."

Head teacher Bev Corbin said: "All the school is asking for is to slow the rate of decommissioning - pause it for a little while until you have had a chance to build something and move people back.

"That would help the school. Less children means less money so less resources."

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council's cabinet member for homes, said the authority's education team would work with the school to determine how much of the reduction in pupils was due to the regeneration scheme.

In a statement, the council said the school had been invited to Townhill Park Forum meetings.

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